I have a 17 hand plus mare that was previsously used as a trail/pleasure horse. I want to use her for dressage next year. I currently ride her in an eggbutt but I don't think it's the right bit for her. She has such a large mouth and the bit is large too, and it doesn't really have that "nut cracker" effect on the bars of her mouth. It just kind of lays across her tongue because its so wide and theres not a whole lot of leverage. Shes a very big and powerful horse and it takes a lot to get her what to do because she knowes shes big. I know a lot of people are probably going to tell me, "No you don't need a stronger bit, she just needs training" I know that, but people who are going to tell me that probably have not ridden my horse and understood that she is very massive and powerful and even when we contue with her education she will always be a hard horse to ride. Anyways, I am looking to find a bit that is legal for lower level dressage that provides a little extra strength without being severe. Does anyone have any ideas that might work for her? Also does anyone know any websites or stores that sell draft horse tack?
You could try just finding a slightly thinner bit, but still as a plain snaffle. If the bit is too big for her anyway, that is your main problem, as every time you use a rein aid the bit is just going to slide across her mouth before she feels it, making her feel 'dull' to the aid.
If you post a photo of the bit in her mouth, we can see just how much too big it is for her, and recommend how many sizes down you could try to go. Alternatively, use a wooden ruler, and if she'll let you, measure from the corner of her mouth on one side, to the corner of the mouth on the other side, going through her mouth. Measure in inches if you can ;) Take the measurement into the saddlery along with your normal bit, and they'll give you a hand to pick one that is a better size.
You /want/ the nutcracker action?? I guess you want a stargazer as well, huh? :/ A snaffle gives the nutcracker action the most when it's too big, so you've probably already got that going on, anyway. It sounds to me like you just have an ill-fitting bit. If you want a bit(no pun intended) more bite, go thinner. Just make sure it fits.
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i have a large horse ( although not as large as yours) aswell, and i use a french link loose ring snaffle. its hard to find a large one ( over 5 1/2" ) that is thin, but i found one at greenhawks. although with these, it doesn't have a " nut cracker " action, it lays more level in their mouth, which i suppose is much more comfurtable, but the design makes it hard for them to lean on. lol ^-^" i am far from an expert, but thats what i use, and it works well.
I agree, a thinner French link snaffle would be what I try! I'd also try using some kind of metal besides stainless steel, such as sweet iron or copper, to encourage her to soften her mouth and make her easier to control :)
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